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Bespotted: My Family's Love Affair with Thirty-Eight Dalmatians

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  56 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The Sexton family's long love affair with the Dalmatian began in Linda's childhood. There, on a snowy morning in the family home just outside Boston, LInda heard a whimpering coming from the basement. She discovered their first family dog giving birth to a litter. Witnessing the intimate act of birth had a profound effect on the family. Her mother, Anne, used the ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Counterpoint (first published September 1st 2014)
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Laura Harrison
Jan 25, 2015 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing
I am not a huge fan of animal breeding or pet shows but the author clearly has a deep love and passion for dogs. I think they are pretty awesome too. Bespotted is an emotional and interesting memoir. Great for the dog lover but also just a terrific read. Pretty perfect book for gift giving as well.
Dec 26, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it
I won this book through goodreads First Reads. This review is not shaped by the fact that I received this book for free.

This may not have been the best time for me to try to read Bespotted. Bespotted is the memoir of Linda Sexton, who was an owner and lover of dalmatians, showing them in dog shows. As I was about 100 pages into the book, I learned my own beloved dog (a beagle) had cancer and is currently dealing with an array of medical issues. My family would do anything for our old pup. I rea
Sep 09, 2014 Jill rated it it was amazing
Bespotted is a must read for dog lovers. I love the way Linda Gray Sexton writes. Her love affair with Dalmatians could be a love affair with any dog, any breed--everyone who loves dogs can relate. Also, I love the journey; the learning curve we all been through with dog ownership, the quest for the perfect dog, until finally realizing all life has worth, has something to offer and is worth saving.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joan Colby
Mar 08, 2016 Joan Colby rated it it was ok
. In reading this book about Linda Gray Sexton’s Dalmations, I was initially irritated by her propensity to blame others (such as her parents for letting their dogs run loose and get hit by cars, her irritation with the breeder who introduced her to dog showing, claiming that the woman had pawned off a dog on her as top quality, her infighting at dog shows, and finally that she put down her “beloved” females for fighting when anyone knows two females often fight for primacy and Sexton could have ...more
Amanda Morgan
Mar 03, 2015 Amanda Morgan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This very well-written book documents the dogs who have been a part of the author's life, and describes how each relationship was different. Undoubtedly this author is an expert on the dalmatian breed after owning so many, breeding them, and showing them, and she knows even though they can be rambunctious wanderers, they can also be extremely loving and loyal animals as well. My first pet was a dalmatian who loved nothing more than to get free and run across the very busy street we lived on when ...more
Lucille Lang Day
Dec 29, 2014 Lucille Lang Day rated it it was amazing
I didn’t buy Bespotted out of an interest in dogs. No, my interest in this book stemmed from my interest in the memoir genre, having read Linda Gray Sexton’s two previous memoirs, Searching for Mercy Street and Half in Love, and having found both books to be moving and insightful. From Bespotted, I learned a lot about the struggles and rewards of dog ownership, but what mattered most to me was how owning dogs fit into the story of a life: growing from childhood to adulthood, getting married, hav ...more
Nov 08, 2014 Catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review is from a book won through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway.

Bespotted: my family's love affair with thirty-eight dalmations is author Linda Gray Sexton's memoir of her lifelong love affair with dalmations.

I expected to enjoy this book, because I am a dog lover and enjoy reading true stories about dogs. I didn't expect to experience the range of emotions that I did while reading this book. I learned about the inside world of purebred dog breeding and showing. I cried and laughed as I
Christine Fay
Jan 02, 2015 Christine Fay rated it it was amazing
This book is a memoir chronicling the life of the author and how she battled through her depression with the help of a faithful Dalmation named Gulliver. It is a lighthearted read that provided me with much information on how dogs can indeed help a person overcome their depression and give them a reason for living when life is becoming hard for them to bear. Linda got super-involved with the AKC breeding program and the world of show dogs. This provided her with stability when her home life was ...more
May 16, 2016 Molly rated it liked it
This memoir was an enjoyable read - I'm not familiar with Anne Sexton's Pulitzer Prize winning poetry (Author's mother) - but the mother/daughter shared experience of depression was familiar - though I'm grateful not to have experienced suicide as well. The healing companionship of a dog was well expressed - my Abbey is greatly missed. Not being a show dog person, that aspect of her life was interesting, if a bit OCD. I'm grateful she finally accepted a "less than perfect" Dalmatian as a loving ...more
Avaminn F'nett
Jan 29, 2015 Avaminn F'nett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I won a free copy of this book through a First Reads Giveaway on Goodreads, and is probably the best I've won since writing this review.

I was not in the mood for a depressing book when I read this. There was almost no happiness in this book. The author had to deal with the deaths of her family, friends, and a lot of adorable dogs. But I loved this book anyway. It was very well-written, and I always love dog books (even though they make me cry.) This book made me want a Dalmation.
Jessica Bang
Jan 25, 2015 Jessica Bang rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
2.5/5 stars.

Wanted to like it more because Sexton's gone through a lot, but I felt like Sexton's struggles and the mentioning of all the different Dals were not well-balanced (as in, I couldn't emotionally invest in both or at least one party completely).
May 11, 2015 Marsmannix rated it liked it
an affectionate story of a woman's love affair with a succession of dalmatians.
Mar 02, 2015 Carol rated it liked it
A memoir of Linda Gray Sexton and how she became involved in the world of show dogs and nice insight into how dogs are so importamt to our lives.
Meghan rated it liked it
Oct 21, 2014
Esther Davis
Esther Davis rated it it was amazing
May 19, 2016
Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2014
Hester rated it it was ok
Jun 13, 2015
Dorothy rated it really liked it
Nov 01, 2015
Kristy Weldon
Kristy Weldon rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2015
Abby rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2014
Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Nov 30, 2014
Ginny rated it it was ok
Dec 21, 2015
Marti Livinghouse
Marti Livinghouse rated it really liked it
Sep 13, 2014
Natalie Filep
Natalie Filep rated it it was amazing
Aug 09, 2015
Pam rated it liked it
Feb 04, 2015
Kasey Schultz
Kasey Schultz rated it liked it
Jan 13, 2015
Oct 23, 2014 Kay rated it it was amazing
loved this. Range of emotions while reading.
Jen rated it it was amazing
Dec 05, 2015
Kerri rated it liked it
Apr 24, 2015
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Linda Gray Sexton was born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1953. As the daughter of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Anne Sexton, she grew up in a home filled with books and words and an attention to language, and at an early age she, too, began to write. Afternoons were sometimes spent together with her mother, reading aloud from Anne’s favorite poems.

By the time Linda was an adolescent, she had beg
More about Linda Gray Sexton...

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“Dogs have always provided a special kind of love and companionship that I experience only some of the time with humans. They have a strong sense of character and live the way we ought to: dogs never compare you to your sister nor make judgments in her favor. Dogs never know what is coming and so live purely in the moment, savoring the good, doing their best to endure the bad--and they offer up this miraculous example so that we can learn from it.” 3 likes
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